Book review: Gone Girl

Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” is surely one of the darkest, sickest and most surprising novels I have read in a long time, and it truly is worth all the accolades it has been lauded with.

Gone Girl takes on the mundane, everyday intricacies of marriage life, an area I personally feel is under discussed in literature, to gave it a thrilling spin. And oh boy, love is nasty and toxic as the author warned us readers in the prologue:

“Love is the world’s infinite mutability; lies, hatred, murder even, are all knit up in it; it is the inevitable blossoming of its opposites, a magnificent rose smelling faintly of blood.”

When Amy Elliot Dunne went missing on their fifth wedding anniversary in the sunset town of Carthage, Missouri, Nick Dunne’s marital life suddenly came under the spotlight as police investigations began into her disappearance.

The couple having relocated to the Midwest after both of them lost their jobs in New York was deeply unhappy. Penniless, childless and aimless, Nick on one hand regretted coaxing his begrudging New York native wife to move back to his birth town to care for his aging mother and sick father. Amy on the other hand loathed her new life.

Based on the duel viewpoints of Nick and Amy, the narration unfurls to reveal two vastly different perspectives of their marriage and their polarizing characters. Nick is, as his beleaguered wife Amy described, the stereotype of an irresponsible husband – foul-tempered, poor credit history, perpetually lying and keeps a mistress.

“He pauses, and I know he is about to lie. The worst feeling: when you just have to wait and prepare yourself for the lie. Nick is old-fashioned, he needs his freedom, he doesn’t like to explain himself… I don’t think he does this to be mean, it’s just how he was raised. His dad did his own thing, always, his mom put up with it. Until she divorced him.”

Midway through the story, there is a much anticipated twist, which I shall not go into further details, except comment that it is wicked and helps thicken the plot. An absolutely delicious read that would surely be on my best reads of 2014 list.

Gone Girl has been adapted into a movie starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike and would be out later this year. The trailer though was less than impressive, so I am having mixed feelings about watching the movie given how GOOD this book has been.

Would you be watching the movie or have you read Gone Girl? Share your thoughts with me below!

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45 thoughts on “Book review: Gone Girl

  1. So great to finally read a review on Gone Girl! I’m mostly into Young Adult, but somehow this book is haunting me haha… Now I’ll probably have to pick it up! By the way, love your Blog. If you want to, check out mine, I write Reviews myself, some English some German. Greets from Germany 🙂

    1. Yes, please do get it! Gone Girl is quite a rare cross breed between a thriller and marital life that makes it such a gem.

  2. I have this on my shelf but not got around to reading it all year. somehow when a book has high levels of publicity I tend to stay away from it. stupid really

    1. Same here! For me it’s the same with movies… You can be sure when all my friends tell me to go see it I somehow don’t want to anymore even though they’re probably right…

  3. I read it last year and to tell you I was totally blown away. Its just not the mystery but also the way the story progresses that keeps you completely hooked. I even justified the seemingly bizzare ending. Apt for both of them. Don’t you agree? Loved your review!

  4. I’m not into thriller but this seems very interesting. I fancy the trailer too but I’ll stick to your words. I’m going to pick up the book soon. Thanks for reviewing this.

    1. Exact sentiments. I put it off for close to two years since its publication just because of all the hype, but I’m glad to have completed it.

  5. Great review! I loved this book…it really illustrates that the characters don’t have to be like-able for it to be amazing. I thought the ending was refreshingly different from what I normally read!

    1. Yes! I didn’t like any of the characters because they felt so flawed just like most of us in real life, but the overall story was SO good.

  6. I just started reading this novel today! I cannot wait to get into it. It really does look like it’s going to be a great read. And I also can’t wait for the movie.

  7. It’s great reviews like this one that made us pick up the book and give it a similar glowing review. We definitely agree with you about it being on a best read list. Hopefully the movie does it justice!

  8. I read it awhile back and loved it. A great read that made me hate and feel sorry for the characters at the same time. As for the movie…well, the books are always better.

  9. I like your review. I just read this for a book club and loved it, until the ending. I agree with Lucy B, it was disappointing. I’m curious if hollywood will stay true to the book. I also think Ben Affleck is an “interesting” choice for the role.

    1. As I’ve mentioned in my reply to Lucy B, I thought the ending was appropriate and apt, though i have to say I was a little surprised that it ended that way.

      The book was such a great read and I doubt that Hollywood would stay true to the book as with all book adaptations. But as The Paperback Princess mentioned in her comment below, Gillian Flynn rewrote a slightly different screenplay for the silver screen, so I suppose it’s going to be a relatively different experience watching the showing vs reading the book.

  10. I am so excited for this movie! I’m curious because Gillian Flynn wrote the screenplay but she changed the ending! I know people aren’t in to Ben Affleck in this movie but I actually think he’s perfect. Ben Affleck as a shady husband? He was born for this! Gone Girl continues to be one of the books I recommend to just about anyone. Especially as people get ready to hit the beaches!

    1. This would surely make for a lovely beach read though it would be even creepier to read this in the middle of the night. I’ve had the experience of reading in the dark and feeling how certain paragraphs made my hair all stand on ends.

      On the other hand, I do agree with Lucy B that I’m not sure how Ben Affleck will play the role of Nick Dunne because Affleck does have a pretty clean image to start off with.

    2. Ben Affleck’s films have always been Forrest Gump-ish, because you never know what type of film or performance you’re going to get from him. But in this case, I think you are right. I watched the trailer: Nicks inappropriate “Trust me, I’m a nice guy,” grin at the press conference blew my mind. He nailed it.

  11. Ohh great review. What a page turner this book was! I must admit the ending disappointed me….but overall so compelling. Don’t know if I can watch the movie….Ben Affleck? Really?

    1. To be honest, I quite like the ending because it fitted well into the general direction the plot was heading towards and character developments. It was truly sick and twisted even till the very end.

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